Lakeside Love in NEO

One of Northeast Ohio’s most wonderful assets is its entire northern border – Lake Erie! It’s easy to forget just how lucky we are to live so close to a Great Lake.

From the beautiful sunsets to the kayaking and boating to the swimming and just living lakeside, it’s yet another reason why I love NEO.

In fact, when I first moved within close proximity to the lake, I knew I could never again live far from a beach or access point. So much easier to build motivation for cycling or jogging when you can enjoy this killer view!

I’ll even let you in on a secret. Lake Erie’s beaches can be packed full on hot summer days, but oftentimes in the early morning, they’re peaceful oases. And if you’re really looking for solitude – bundle up and stop by in the winter. You might have our frozen wonder all to yourself. I once visited Mentor Headlands State Park on a frigid New Year’s Day – talk about having a natural wonder all to yourself! Another favorite winter park: Edgewater (shown below)!


From west to east, let’s travel along the water and check out my favorite lakeside spots!


Huntington Reservation

This quiet gem in the Cleveland Metroparks is tucked away in Bay Village – it includes a seasonal ice cream shop (an indispensable asset!) alongside a forest with walking trails. The best part? Lake Erie’s shores for everyone to enjoy.


Edgewater Park

A legendary park in Northeast Ohio’s past and present, drawing people from all over the region to enjoy its expansive beach. You can do anything from sunbathing to swimming to parasailing here. The Cleveland Metroparks system recently built a gorgeous beach house and new bike paths, meaning summers here will remain a perennial favorite.

Just up the hill, I’d be remiss not to mention my favorite part of the park: Perkins Beach. It’s smaller and less well-known, perfect for sitting on a log or in the sand and reading a book until the sun sets. Heaven!


Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve

A reclaimed space just north of Glenville, this natural refuge features trails that are definitely not meant for tennis shoes. Bring your boots and expect to get them muddy! In this park, nature is in charge, and visitors are lucky to see lake and skyline views all in one.


Euclid Beach

Nestled in the east side suburb of Euclid, this beach is my favorite place to sit on the sand with a blanket and a book. One of the iconic Cleveland signs is housed here – and how can you resist a photo op like that?

Credit: @WanderlustinOhio/Madalyn Stoner

Kenneth Sims Park in Euclid also has a beautiful dock for watching the watery world go by.


Lake Erie Bluffs

One of my favorite lakeside parks, you can see its star attraction from the road: a tall observation tower you can climb up and take gorgeous pictures from! I mean, look at this sunset!

It also has a small beach, and even though the weather was fine and the sun was shining, there were very few people around. Perfect for a quiet moment with Mother Nature!


Another favorite is compact Lakewood Park – it’s in my neighborhood and an easy walk away!


What are some of your favorite spots on the lake?


Ryan Collins
Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins is a writer and traveler. Currently based in Lakewood, he has lived all across Northeast Ohio. A Kent State University alum, today, Ryan works in admission at Baldwin Wallace University. His work has been published by Cleveland Plus, Belt Magazine and in conjunction with Destination Cleveland. Learn more at